Reviews

Let It Rest

Author: Laura Hamlett
05/21/2003 | Playback St Louis | www.playbackstl.com | Album Review
Let It Rest starts off with a guitar-drenched bang, echoing such forebears as the Clash and Wire Train. The classic, punkish sound of the disc's opener will have you tapping your feet; “Beds and Lawns" segues nicely into “The Approaching Dawn," in which vocalist Matt Oberst sings with such disaffected precision that this must be a band from London—only it isn't. Sorry About Dresden is an American four-piece from Chapel Hill, and this is their fourth album.

There's a '50s sensibility to “When You Cared," a song about the days when things were simpler—back when the relationship was working. Oberst's voice scrapes high as he recounts, “Half-dressed in the afternoon/Addressing an empty room/but the air's gone out of it." Behind his words rage a driving drumbeat and pointed guitars.

“Did the name that you changed make a difference in the way the mirror shows your face?" Oberst asks to begin the brilliantly titled “This House, Unhomed." The next track, “Sick and Soar," belongs on someone's summer soundtrack, with its strolling beat and the way it captures the haze of indirection. “You figure, better go through the motions/before they go through you./Get up," Oberst directs.

The music of “Frozen in Mid-Gesture" echoes its title, as it remains tentative and halting in the background. “Going for the Gold" is more straight-ahead rock; overcoming an intro that eerily recalls Styx's “Too Much Time on my Hands," the song goes on to establish itself as a potential single. On “Candid Camera," Oberst tells of “a windowed room where things have gone astray"; “Once We Had a Word for This" begins haltingly before swelling into a classic-sounding refrain which pinpoints the unfamiliar place in which two people find themselves. A folky flair infiltrates “Relax, It's Tuesday," which finds Oberst rationalizing, “It's not really giving in/if you were never gonna win."

The more listens I give Let It Rest, the more I like it. Oberst's scratchy, reaching voice at times reminds me of a scaled-back, twang-free David Lowery; the music behind his poetic searching—painted in specific, vivid pictures—is exploratory and confident, played with precision. Sorry About Dresden is a modern rock band that's unafraid to rock, yet also fully at home playing it gentle and sparse. Saddle Creek has yet another winner.
Let It Rest

Let It Rest

CD / MP3




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Let It Rest

Let It Rest

CD / MP3


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